Healthcare sector, probably the most sensitive industry among all. Because other industries deal with money or products of the customer but it deals with health. In other sectors, the money is at stake while the life or fitness of a person is at stake in the medical industry.

Due to Covid-19, the significance of healthcare providers has increased swiftly. Every eye was on doctors and pharmacists about how they would react in this situation. Medical services providers deal with the pandemic very efficiently by giving precautions and prevention guidelines regularly. Medical staff is greatly appreciated because of their service contribution to the world.

Medical Identity Theft

Now the medical industry is expected to grow more because everyone has understood how essential it is. But there are some problems that can pull its leg and prove a barrier in its growth, medical identity theft and data breaches for example. Medical identity theft means the fraudulent use of medical records of a patient to claim health insurance claims or reimbursements. This can be done by the health institution or the patient himself. But in most cases, a hacker or employees of the health organization initiates medical identity theft. Data breaches mean stealing medical, personal, or billing history and then use it for medical identity theft.

Like financial institutions, health organizations have also found a way to fight medical identity theft-related crimes. From manual verification to know your patient, the patient identification procedures have evolved in recent years.

Let’s have a look at the ways of verifying a patient:

This method is introduced by the National Health Service of the United Kingdom in health service providings. Vouch means the assertion or confirmation of something on the basis of human experience. For instance, identity verification of a person is done by any other because he knows him too well.

In the medical industry, vouching is done by the employee of the health organization who distinguishes him and has dealt with the patient in the past. There is a restriction that the staff member should approve the person as a legitimate patient because of his past experience.

Vouching is very helpful for patients who do not have the id document at the time of checkup and visits the clinic regularly. Normally, asthmatic and diabetic patients have to visit the doctor every week. If somehow they forgot their document at home, vouching is very effective for frictionless treatment.

Vouching With Confirmation
In a condition where a staff member can’t assert the patient’s identity. Because there are many patients attending every day it becomes very difficult to remember each patient uniquely. The verification can be done by asking some questions to the patient. The answers to the questions help in analyzing the identity.

The questions:
● Should be asked randomly
● Should not unveil the patient’s sensitive information
● Includes a variety of questions about specifications and characteristics

Some of the example questions are discussed below:

➔ What was the doctor’s name and when did you last make a visit to the clinic?
➔ What medicines did the doctor recommend, can you name any?
➔ Have you ever operated, when, and what was the reason?

This method can be used when prescribing over a phone call. Because there could be a case when the patient can’t visit the hospital physically due to his medical condition. Also, the doctor could be far away.

As the trend of telemedicine is rising, now doctors prescribe medicine remotely. Different e-health or m-health ventures have entered the medical industry. But both the above methods can be bypassed if the employee is involved in medical identity theft. To have solid medical identity verification, Know Your Patient is incorporated by advanced health businesses.

Know Your Patient
This is the same as KYC in the financial industry where each customer is verified at the time of onboarding. In know your patient, an AI-powered software performs the patient’s verification.

Here is the process of know your patient verification:

- The patient presents his id documents to the software
- The live picture of the patients is captured
- Document’s data is extracted and the face is verified through the patient’s image on the document
- Upon successful verification, the patient is allowed to meet the doctor otherwise not

The above three methods are useful for verifying patients’ identities. But the organization that can’t compromise on patients’ data security should choose know your patient verification. Though this not only identity but age of the patient can also be verified. The chances of errors are very few as verification is performed by software rather than human.

Author's Bio: 

Billy Harris has been working in digital marketing industry since 2010. He has a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and currently working as a web developer.